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Published weekly since August 2017 and now daily during the Coronavirus school shutdown

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

At any given time, there might be a couple dozen students being homeschooled in Manchester but right now there are more than 6,000 of them, sitting at kitchen tables or sprawled on couches as they read and write and ... hey, turn off that TV! We have some photos below of what learning is looking like and a student account that includes her 'Quarantine Bucket List.' Incidentally, if you'd like to subscribe to this newsletter, just click here.
The Latest News
  • District staff is planning for how to meet students' needs with the expectation that the shutdown will go beyond March 31. More information is expected to be shared later today.
  • Parks, trails and other green spaces are open but people are encouraged to follow the social distancing guidelines outlined by the CDC. 
  • Children are discouraged from using playscapes, swing sets and other park amenities because surface contact can spread germs.
  • Registration had been scheduled to start April 1 but has been postponed until May 1.
MANCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE: All courses will be taught online for the rest of the semester and the campus will be closed -- meaning there won't be an in-person spring commencement.
PASSPORTS: With Town Hall closed, you have to go on-line.

WORK_SPACE: Galleries and public spaces are closed.
The town's pandemic information page has much more.
Food Is Available

Jayden, a second-grader at Buckley Elementary, enjoyed a grab-and-go lunch yesterday. "He loved it," said mom Heather, who shared this photo. "Having meals available is very helpful."
STUDENT MEALS: Free ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast (8-10 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) is available to students Monday through Friday at Bennet Academy, Manchester Middle Academy (the former Robertson School building) and Waddell Elementary School. Details are here.
MACC CHARITIES: The Community Kitchen (466 Main Street) is giving out bagged lunches (1 bag per person) from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. No one will be allowed in the dining room to eat. 
SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.
School Stuff
We made some phone calls and send out a few emails yesterday seeking photos of students doing school work from home, and will share more during the shutdown.
Just send them to or text to 860-268-6377.
Above are brothers Matthew (kindergarten) and Daniel (grade 3), who both attend Waddell, with preschooler Phoebe. At left is MHS senior Janna, and below another Red Hawk, junior Olivia, and finally Caeleb, a second-grader at Highland Park.
MHS has organized a writing contest, with the suggested theme 'Unexpected.' It's open to students of all grade levels, district staff and even community members. The details are here.

Like students all around town, Aislinn Gara Grady is struggling to get used to her new routine. She's sharing her perspective on the pandemic each day and here's today's account.
Academic Connections
There are lots of ways to bring learning home and here are some digital resources to consider:
eREADING ACCOUNTS : There are special accounts for students in the district, pre-K to grade 12. Click here to see the links.
HIGH SCHOOL: The MHS website has tons of resources and learning opportunities and there's even more on the MHS Media Center page.
ALL AGES: Manchester Public Library's database page includes a link to hoopla (download books and more for free), Pronunciator (learn another language) and more.
This And That
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage but monthly free-read limits -- although the Courant has removed the paywall from its main daily Coronavirus story. You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch.
Today's Assignment:

(Or write how that relates and we might publish a few and even send out some OneManchester T-shirts. Submit to b11jfarr@mpspride. All grades welcome!)
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell and Paul Ofria of the school district's communications office based on contributions from people and institutions throughout town. Jim, the district's communications director, can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published weekly since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019,